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The UK has strong diplomatic, military, and economic ties with Bahrain.

In 2022, it plans to negotiate a trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, whose six members include the country.

However, Bahrain’s human rights record is of significant concern to the UK Government, being one of its 31 human rights priority countries.

What does this paper cover?

This 14-page briefing provides an introduction to Bahrain’s: 

  • Leadership, politics, and political rights, such as the right to vote, and freedom of expression and assembly
  • Human rights, such as the rights of women and migrant workers
  • Trade with the UK and current negotiations on a trade agreement 
  • Economy, including key statistics on population, economic growth and leading industries 
  • Foreign relations with the US, neighbouring Gulf states and Iran

Finding out more

The paper signposts further reading on each of these topics on pages 12 to 14. This includes links to recent UK Parliament proceedings on Bahrain and relevant Library briefing papers. 

Please visit the Library’s Middle East pages for further analysis on the region.

Update log

30 May 2022: Updated economic statistics and UK visa arrangements 


Documents to download

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